By Gabriel Olawale
Society of Testing Laboratory Analysts of Nigeria, SOTLAN, has lamented the negative impact of COVID-19 on its profession, saying that that the pandemic has affected access to reagents, laboratory equipment and training of its members among others.
Speaking in Lagos ahead of its 2021 Conference of Public Analysts slated to hold 14th through 16th September, 2021, SOTLAN President, Dr. Femi Oyediran said that the pandemic also exposed the inadequacy of testing facilities and procedures especially when large number of samples are to be tested.
Oyediran hinted that Public Analysts are key stakeholders in ensuring continued existence of humanity, sustain trade and enterprises.
“A thousand and one contaminants that are capable of wrecking more havoc than COVID-19 are not presently being considered as important in this part of the world but are found everywhere around us.
“Dioxins and furans, snipers, phosphine, chemicals of different toxicity and hazard are being handled carelessly and sold in the open and unregulated markets. Biohazards from lot of facilities and the environment are areas that the analysts will be confronted in the near future.
He regretted that despite the fact that such analysis cannot be done in the traditional way as results are needed in a speedy manner.
“More robust, time-saving equipment and devices, in fact, sensors and robots may be necessary to test such substances.
“Corroborating his views, the Vice President of SOTLAN and Chairman, LOC of the Conference, Prof. Olugbenga Ogunmoyela said that to be competitive, Public Analysts need to upgrade services by ensuring that laboratories have the required recognition which includes registration with IPAN and ISO 17025.
“The theme of our upcoming conference is Analytical Testing Laboratories in Post COVID-19 Era: Realities and Opportunities. Our team of experts including foreign partners shall be discussing the theme with a view to proffering efficient practices that post COVID-19 will bring.
Other highlights of the programme include student essay competition that is aimed at catching them young.